Kennesaw State technology making it easier for students to access no-cost, low-cost textbooks


More than 15,000 students registered in Fall 2018 for cost-saving courses

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 21, 2018) — Kennesaw State is making it easier for students to find courses at the University that can save them money.

Working with KSU’s Academic Affairs, Registrar and bookstore personnel, the University Information Technology Services team made modifications to a student-facing course registration system and created a new search process that makes it easier for students to find courses that offer low-cost (under $40) or no-cost textbooks. The implementation is part of the University System of Georgia’s Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) initiative, which was launched in 2014 to promote student success by supporting the implementation of affordable alternatives to textbooks.

Kennesaw State’s interface and search system, which launch in April 2018, is now being used as a model for other USG institutions.

“Kennesaw State has done a wonderful job implementing this new system, which features multiple search options, and with the new attributes clearly displaying in the results. This is an excellent example for other institutions, and we are encouraging other schools to look at Kennesaw State as a best practices implementation model,” said Tristan Denley, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and chief academic officer for the USG.

Since ALG first launched in 2014, all USG-sponsored textbook affordability programs have saved students a total projected 31.3 million dollars in textbook costs, affecting nearly 220,000 students state-wide. In Fall 2018, Kennesaw State offered 803 no-cost textbooks courses and 383 courses with low-cost textbook option, more than 15,000 students signed up for these courses.

Through ALG, 74 faculty members at KSU have received textbook transformation grants since the initiative began at KSU in spring 2015. The grants allow faculty to produce Open Educational Resources, which are copyrighted course material. As a result, KSU has saved students an estimated $3.7 million per year.

Open educational resources are high-quality teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others, and may include other resources that are legally available and free of cost to students. Since the cost of textbooks and course materials average $1,250 per student per year which amounts to a four-year cost of more than $5,000 for students.

– Andrea Judy


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit